Brief encounter

Hi *****

Of course I remember you.  You’re the one who replied to a few Tom Waits lines some years back but never got to meet in the end.

I hope your life is unravelling nicely and you met some incredible woman (or women, or men, or pets) since. I fled **** and conformed.  I have a Tesco Club Card now, and a child, and the child’s father for company. I occasionally think about colour schemes for the living room, and harbour other dangerous thoughts. But I did manage to see Tom Waits in concert since, and live a life loosely based on the principles of unavoidable heebie jeebies according to The National and John Grant. And weren’t those opening notes from Paul Buchanan’s re-launch on Later… worth the wait?

I’m in two minds about ****** now. Thanks for the warning.

All the best


We singularly failed to meet up about a decade back. I believe we were both hopeless and disorganised, although not a whole lot has changed for me on that score!

I seem to have executed another un-innocent, (not so) elegant fall into the unmagnificent life of adults over the last ten years. I now have a daughter, a son and their mum for company, plus a Tesco Club Card (on my keyring, no less) and a Nectar points card. My partner and I don’t see eye to eye on Club Card vs Nectar: I like the money-off points, she likes the vouchers. What can you do?

Where did you see Tom Waits? Was he good? I caught him at ******, which was pretty amazing. Spent most of the last ten years writing and writing. I did an awful lot of music writing, interviews and the like. Still doing a few bits and bobs though not features. Managed to meet the National – the guitarist lent me his hoodie as I shivered outside a rustic French venue in the small hours, then we sat by the lake for a few hours doing an interview thingy the next day, which was all good drunken fun and, er, very much the stuff of nostalgic pangs now that life is a circus act of nappy juggling, precarious school dashes and vertiginous views of the slip into middle age.


Congratulations on becoming a mother! And glad to hear you’re thinking colour schemes. I may frame some pictures in the office this week if the urge to do something dangerous strikes. I didn’t see Paul B on Later… but I’ll rummage around on YouTube for it later….


Yeah, so  ******** – not that good, I gave it three stars but I think that was a bit over-generous. I seemed to remember you being a cinephile! Do you find that parenthood eats into crucial film time? I’m still reviewing so I have an excuse but the allotted movie-time never feels like enough…


Anyway, nice to hear back from you!



Ah. A Nectar card. That’s a relief. I feared you might’ve gone the way of the damned into the wide aisles of Waitrose, or become a Mumford and Son fan. Such are the vagaries of middle-age and parenthood.

So, true love found us both in the end then, as Daniel Johnston sort of predicted, although I was more reassured by Beck’s assertion. Thanks for your kind wishes. I’ll see them and raise them – your family life sounds perfectly frenetic. Warm congratulations.

Yes, I’m condemned to Netflix and rentals these days. The cinema occupies a rare form of respite from Waybaloo and intense discussions on the contents of any given nappy despite getting off to a good start a week into motherhood. I sashayed up to the ticket office (Steve McQueen’s Shame – 4 stars?) while ****** watered ***** in the foyer, and paced the corridor for several miles although he failed to mention that bit. That probably tells you more about him than me, and why I knock about with him. I would’ve alluded to his winning ways in my wedding speech but didn’t get to make one. We eloped two years today coincidentally. Who needs dysfunctional family or a first dance song? (I’m thinking Talking Heads’ This Must Be The Place’). I’m sure I’ll get to praise him publicly some other time. If he’s up in court or something.

Great you’re continuing to make a living from your passions. I must remember to seek approval from your reviews before taking any chances, although there’s no preventative measures for impulse as evidenced by the twee induced hangover I’m suffering from About Time. Nick Cave must be twirling in his stately pile.

I moved back to Ireland the year Tom Waits played Dublin in the appropriately named Rats Cellar within glitter kicking distance of the President’s residence in Phoenix Park. He summoned up our fixed gazes along with the dust on the first stomp of his foot and that was my general state till he took his leave. Magic. From there to the North (the things we do for love) where I’ve been since.

It’s been good to hear life is grand. We should check in with each other again in another twenty years to compare pension plans.

Best wishes to you and your (no doubt) lovely clan.


5 thoughts on “Brief encounter

  1. Almost Adele-like in its epic quality 😀 My favourite club card is the Boots one – they give you stuff all the time. Alas, I too have descended into ‘matching’ – got a red accessory thing going in the kitchen to complement the Buff Wheat cupboards and Speckled Charcoal of the worktops. Even bought a matching kettle and toaster from the soon to be defunct BHS….

  2. Your courtship catch-ups are very highbrow. I am extremely impressed and now have you on a pedestal. It’s a small one, but nobody should be greedy in these troubled times.

    • It was all that talk of loyalty cards, wasn’t it, Tara? He was a good’un alright. But I could never keep up with the neurobics routine. Which is why I married a man with similar taste in top five comfort foods 🙂

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